After a little chatting with the friendly guard, we learned that El Pilar was originally purchased with the idea of using the majority of the land as a sustainable timber harvest. However the owner soon learned that his purchase was located in a protected area where altering the natural landscape was strictly prohibited. Now 2 generations later, the grandson of the original owner who has an education background in eco-tourism is hoping to develop a minamally intrusive infrastructure throughout the property to help make it more accessible to like-minded nature enthusiasts.
Across a wooden footbridge you'll pass by man-made ponds where tilapia is cultivated. Then down a winding pathway surrounded by lush greens and brightly colored blossoms, there is a hummingbird garden where visitors can spend hours watching and waiting or simply enjoy a picnic lunch. Beyond the bird sanctuary a strenuous 2 kilometer uphill hike weaves up the face of the mountain. At the end of the trail one may continue further down a gravel road that eventaully opens up to a clearing with cabins or head back down the hill either on the path or a winding gravel road.
Our Sunday morning hike really afforded us the much desired calm and quiteness that we often seek away from the loud, busy streets of Antigua below. We only passed 1 other group of hikers along the way. Upon reaching the end of the trail we chose to return on the gravel road to continue exploring some more. Feeling alone in the middle of nowhere made us dream up notions of how we felt like the survivors of a plane crash on LOST. As we descened we could help but get an erie deserted feeling. It felt like we were looking in on the "Others" campsite, while no one was none the wiser. Take a look at what we observed.
This is where the "Others" work